A thought crossed my mind recently. Country music fans collided with NASCAR fanatics on the KC Streetcar. Graduates flooded the Kansas City Convention Center, and families filled the sidewalks as they traveled to their Mother’s Day brunches.
That’s when it hit me: Downtown Kansas City is back — and it’s back in a big way. You can feel the incredible energy in the air. We work and live in an innovative, authentic destination where business is booming.
Kansas City has serious momentum, and this destination is poised for great things to come. From sports and style to culture and innovation, remarkable things are happening everywhere you look. People are noticing us more now than ever before. What comes next is up to all of us. The decisions we make today will define our future and the Kansas City of tomorrow.
In close concert with its partners, Visit KC leads the charge here and abroad to showcase “How We Do Kansas City.” Core to our mission is advancing the quality of life of our destination, and 2017’s first quarter proved tremendously fruitful.
From hosting the U.S. Figure Skating Championships and NCAA Regionals to welcoming the country’s best musicians during Folk Alliance International, to attracting major groups like National Society of Black Engineers and TV productions like NBC’s “American Ninja Warrior,” one thing is for certain: Kansas City is on an incredible winning streak, and Visit KC is playing an integral role.
Yesterday’s strategies and investments are paying off. From collaborating with KC’s Office of Culture and Creative Services on a local film incentive to fighting alongside the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce to oppose — and defeat — SJR 39, Missouri’s controversial bill to allow the refusal of services to same-sex couples, Visit KC is a partner you want in your corner. The most recent example is the Kansas City Streetcar, surpassing 2 million riders in its first year and already being proclaimed one of the most successful systems of its kind.
That’s how we do things in Kansas City. We can’t shy away from opportunities that will propel our region forward, whether they include expanding the streetcar to the Country Club Plaza, building an 800-room convention center hotel or introducing a modern, single-terminal airport fit for today’s travelers.
Enhancing product development and improving quality of life are paramount to Visit KC’s mission, and as the region’s official destination marketing organization, it is our obligation to shepherd these improvements forward.
The calendar changes and the people change, but our hunger and persistence as Kansas Citians do not. We do not take challenge lightly. We roll up our sleeves to get things done.
Now is not the time to pause or become stagnant. We can’t let up on this momentum. We can’t stop, won’t stop, pushing Kansas City to its zenith. We must dream big to live big and continue to move forward for betterment of the next generation.
Ronnie Burt is president and CEO of Visit KC.